AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

12/29/07

Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2007

The Women Film Critics Circle held their annual on-air WFCC Awards Ceremony 2007 on Thursday, December 13th. The Ceremony for the Best and Worst Picks from a woman's point of view, aired on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM at 11am, and on Web Radio at wbai.org. On hand to present and discuss the awards in-studio and by phone, were WFCC members.

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 40 women film critics and scholars from around the country, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. They came together three years ago to form the first women critics organization ever in the country, in the belief that women’s perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully. WFCC also prides itself on being the most culturally and racially diverse critics group in the country by far, and best reflecting the diversity of movie audiences.



The Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2007

BEST PICTURE BY A WOMAN **TIE**
*Away From Her: Sarah Polley
*Talk To Me: Kasi Lemmons

BEST PICTURE ABOUT WOMEN
*Juno: Jason Reitman

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]
*Juno: Diablo Cody

BEST ACTRESS
*Laura Linney: The Savages

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
*Amy Adams: Enchanted

BEST ACTOR
*Daniel Day-Lewis: There Will Be Blood

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS
*Saoirse Ronan: Atonement

BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE **TIE**
*Hairspray
*Life Support

BEST FOREIGN FILM: **TIE**
*La Vie En Rose
*Persepolis

BEST MUSIC
*Hairspray: Nikki Blonsky, Queen Latifah

BEST THEATRICALLY UNRELEASED MOVIE BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
*Life Support

**ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women:
*Redacted

**JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America:
*The Great Debaters

**KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity:
*A Mighty Heart

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
*Judi Dench

SPECIAL MENTION FOR A FEMALE’S RIGHT TO MALE ROLES IN MOVIES:
*Cate Blanchett: I'm Not There

ACTING AND ACTIVISM
*Angelina Jolie

BEST DOCUMENTARIES:

ABOVE AND BEYOND:
*Redacted [mixed media]

GROUNDBREAKER:
*Strange Culture: Lynn Hershman-Leeson

COURAGE IN FILMMAKING:
*Meeting Resistance: Molly Bingham, co-director

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES **TIE**
*Away From Her
*Becoming Jane

MOST OFFENSIVE MALE CHARACTERS
Crazy Love [Burt Pugach] *****Winning Loser
Norbit [Rasputia] *****Winning Looser
Good Luck Chuck
The Heartbreak Kid
Knocked Up
Revolver
Superbad
Who's Your Caddy

WFCC TOP TEN HALL OF SHAME
Black Snake Moan***Winning Loser
Exterminating Angels***Winning Loser
Goya's Ghost***Winning Loser
Atonement
Captivity
Gone Baby Gone
Hairspray/Edna [John Travolta]
Lust, Caution
Norbit/Rasputia [Eddie Murphy]
Red Road

BEST ANIMATED FEMALE:
*Enchanted: Elle

BEST FAMILY FILM
*Enchanted


**ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower rack in her bathroom, to make it look like a suicide. He later confessed that he was having a "bad day." Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.


**JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD; The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.


**KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

**The Women's Right To Male Roles In Movies Award is intended to challenge that men have not only the most prominent roles in films, but also the most complex and fully drawn out characters. So when an actress can fight for access to such a role, and it may be rewritten for her, it is one of substance, and free of the usual shallow or demonizing female stereotypes.

The Women Film Critics Circle website is WFCC.wordpress.com, and they can be reached at: Criticalwomen@gmail.com.

Prairie Miller

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